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  • Writer's pictureMarcelino Barrell

Forecasting Glory: NFL Playoffs

Welcome back to Forecasting Glory, where I offer my perspective on how the NFL playoffs might play out. We’ll first do a quick recap of what happened in some games in the Wild Card Round, and then talk about the Divisional, and Conference rounds, before finally diving into my Superbowl prediction.

Wildcard Round Recap

Green Bay Packers (48) @ Dallas Cowboys (32)

This was the upset of the week. The Cowboys (2 seed) getting steamrolled by the Packers (7 seed) on their own turf.  Before Dallas’s loss, they won 16 straight games at home. Packers QB Jordan Love (16/21) threw for 272 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Aaron Jones was able to rush for 118 yards. Meanwhile, on Dallas’s side, QB Dak Prescott (41/60) threw for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Tony Pollard was able to rush for 56 yards.

Philadelphia Eagles (9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32)

This was a very Eagles thing to do. Philadelphia went 10-1 throughout the first 12 weeks, but over the next 6 weeks, they went 1-5, bringing their regular season record to 11-6. They then proceeded to lose to Tampa Bay by 23 points. After the game, it was announced that Eagles center, Jason Kelce, was retiring after 13 years with the Eagles. The Bucs defense was successfully able to only allow an Eagles field goal and touchdown, meanwhile, the Eagles defense gave up 3 touchdowns, 1 safety, and 3 field goals. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (25/35) threw for 250 yards, while D’Andre Swift rushed for 34 yards. Meanwhile, Bucs QB Baker Mayfield (22/36) threw for 337 yards, while Rachaad White rushed for 72 yards.

Los Angeles Rams (23) @ Detroit Lions (24)

When the clock ticked down to 0 seconds in the 4th quarter, the Detroit crowd went wild. This was the first playoff win for the Lions since 1992, 32 years ago, against the Dallas Cowboys. This ended a long playoff win drought for Detroit and it was a moment to celebrate for them. However, they still almost lost this game against LA. They were only up 4 points going into the 4th quarter, but they were able to only allow the Rams to get a field goal, which allowed them to win by that close 1-point margin. Lions QB Jared Goff (22/27) threw for 277 yards and 1 touchdown, while David Montgomery was able to rush for 57 yards. Meanwhile, for the Rams, QB Matthew Stafford (25/36) threw for 367 yards, while Kyren Williams was able to rush for 61 yards.

Miami Dolphins (7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (26)

This game was one of the coldest games ever in the NFL. With a high of -4 degrees and a low of -9 degrees, however, temperatures felt like -28 degrees with the wind chill. Fans watching the game were seen bundled up in multiple layers of clothing and players were huddled up on the sidelines in front of the heaters to keep warm in the brutal Kansas City cold. This freezing temperature perhaps gave the Chiefs an advantage. The Dolphins are used to a warmer and humid Miami environment, on the other hand, the Chiefs are used to cold temperatures at home, which helps them adapt to it. Besides that, this game was mostly one-sided throughout, with the Chiefs only allowing Miami one touchdown. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa (20/39) threw for 199 yards and 1 touchdown, while Raheem Mostert rushed for 33 yards. Meanwhile, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (23/41) threw for 262 yards, while Isiah Pacheco rushed for 89 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers (17) @ Buffalo Bills (31)

This game was originally scheduled for Sunday but moved to Monday due to the freezing blizzard conditions and snow in Buffalo. This was a move both decided by New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, and the NFL, citing public safety concerns. The Buffalo Bills still were able to come out of this game victorious. Bills QB Josh Allen (21/30) threw for 203 yards, while James Cook rushed for 79 yards. Meanwhile, Steelers QB Mason Rudolph (22/39) threw for 229 yards and Jaylen Warren rushed for 38 yards.

Cleveland Browns (14) @ Houston Texans (45)

The Houston Texans may very well be the comeback team of the year. Last season, they went 3-13-1. But now, they are 10-7 this season. This is the first time since the 2019-2020 season they are making the playoffs. Texans QB C.J Stroud (16/21) threw for 274 yards, while Devin Singletary rushed for 66 yards. Meanwhile, Browns QB Joe Flacco (34/46) threw for 307 yards, while Kareem Hunt rushed for 26 yards.

Divisional Round Predictions 

Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens

As much as I would like the Texans to win, I still believe the Ravens will come out victorious in this matchup. Baltimore is 6-3 at home, while Houston is only 4-4 on the road. Baltimore averages 28 points per game against Texans 22 points per game. Baltimore has played Houston 13 times in all and has only lost 2 times to them, most recently in December 2014, 13-25. With all this said, my prediction is that Baltimore will win, 31-14.

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers

I believe that the Packers will make another huge upset happen with this game with a shocking win against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are 5-3 at home, while the Packers are 4-5 on the road. The most recent matchup of these 2 teams was in January 2022, with SF winning 13-10 in Green Bay. I feel that the 49ers, like last year, will somehow find a way to lose, even if they are a super-strong team. Take the 2022 NFC Championship game when they faced the Philadelphia Eagles. They get blown out, 31-7, which cost them a trip to the Superbowl. Overall, I’ll call this game in favor of the Packers, 24-21.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions

One thing for sure about this game is that every Lions fan inside Ford Field will be loud. They will try to make Tampa Bay get as many false starts as possible. Detroit scores an average of 27 points per game, meanwhile, Tampa Bay scores around 21 points per game. The Lions are 6-2 at home, while Tampa Bay is 5-4 on the road. The last time these two teams met was in October 2023, with Detroit winning, 20-6. Overall, I think the Lions will win this game 23-17.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Buffalo Bills

Our final game of the divisional round is probably going to be the most tight. Fun fact, this will be Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes, first road playoff game. The Chiefs have to travel 850 miles to Buffalo. Both of these teams are good, but they will have to endure the cold again for this game. The temperature will be a high of 26 degrees during the game and a low of 23 degrees at the end. Keep in mind that the Bills have a win streak of 6, meanwhile, the Chiefs, have a win streak of 2. The Bills have a whopping 7-2 at home, but the Chiefs have a 6-2 record while on the road. The Bills score an average of 26 points per game compared to the Chiefs 22. My prediction for this game is that the Bills will win 31-27. Both of these teams are great, but I still believe the Bills will find a way to win.

Conference Round Predictions

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens

I’m not going to go too much into detail since these next games are not set in stone, but I believe the Bills will win this game, 34-30.

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

This would be divisional teams put against each other. Plus, these two teams happen to be rivals. I’ll call this game for the Lions, 24-23.

Superbowl Predictions

Buffalo Bills vs. Detroit Lions (in Las Vegas, NV)

I think this will be the Super Bowl match we will receive this year. I would have a feeling if it came to this matchup, the Bills would be Superbowl Champions for the 2023-2024 season.

Wrap Up

These are my predictions for the rest of the playoffs, as well, these are my own opinions. I may be updating this article after a round is completed. Thanks for reading!

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1 Comment

Jan 31

boo hoo

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